Bosman rules OK

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The Independent Online
The European Commission has said there is no chance of a gentleman's agreement to allow Europe's football powers to ignore a recent court ruling on the nationality of players.

The European Union employment commissioner, Padraig Flynn, said he had yesterday told officials of the governing body of European football, Uefa, that they must allow total freedom of movement for European nationals and end fees for out-of-contract players.

Flynn said Uefa had accepted the European Court of Justice's ruling of 15 December in a case brought by the Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman, but that "the problem was one of different interpretation".

Uefa wants to maintain its limit of three foreign and two "assimilated" players per team in European competitions until the end of the season. But Flynn said that would clearly violate the Bosman ruling and clubs which ignored the rule would be protected by law.

The EU competition commissioner, Karel Van Miert, repeated his threat to impose fines on Uefa if it did not comply with the Bosman ruling.